The current chief of dentistry at the Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's says he's fed up and will be leaving to open up his own practice.

Dr. Geoff Smith, also the chief of dentistry at Eastern Health, said he'll be leaving the institution on August 3 after 26 years working there.

According to Smith, he has had growing concerns about changes to Janeway services.

"The bottom line is quality of patient care," said Smith.

"I want to give the utmost — the highest quality of patient care, and it's difficult to do that in the current situation." 

Smith said he thought it was time to move on.

"It was my decision to leave. I'm 61, I have maybe five years, 10 years left [to work], and personally I want to be in a practice where I practice the way that I want and where I can continue to enjoy my job," he said.

"This is not the Janeway that I joined full-time back in 1986."

Smith said he believes the money being investing in a new dental care facility is somewhat frivolous because the current equipment works just fine.

"[Eastern Health] is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and supplies, and I personally don't see why," he said. "The Janeway has a priorities list as long as your arm, and there are other items that could be purchased for the same money."

He said that the hospital once felt like a family operation, but over the years has become too much of a corporate entity for his liking.

A statement from Eastern Health said that they don't believe the standards of care will be impacted.

The release said the part-time pediatric dentist remaining will be filling the full-time role that will be opened up. Two part-time dentists have been hired, who will provide services on a fill-in basis, as needed.